If you’re having trouble selling your home in the current economic downturn, there are options. Many people have had their houses on the market for 6, 7, 8 months or more without any offers. You may need to sell your home due to a job transfer, divorce, increase in family size, or perhaps your payments are too high and you need to lower them. What is an owner to do? Your best bet may be to rent your home until home prices start to recover.

Many landlords are afraid to rent out their homes because of the horror stories they hear: unruly tenants cutting holes in walls, clogging toilets, or skipping rent for months, forcing the landlord into potentially damaging mortgage payments. solve. But these problems can be avoided simply with a good rental agreement and good management.

Most people who are not experienced landlords prefer to have a real estate company manage their rental. This is a good idea if you are willing to listen to your agent’s advice regarding the price of your rental. Real estate agents know the market and will tell you the current market rental price for your home. They will take care of finding a tenant and checking credit. They will manage home repairs and evictions, if necessary. The experienced real estate manager knows how to prevent tenants from “misbehaving” so he can feel safe renting his property.

If you prefer to handle the rent yourself, here are some tips for being a successful landlord.

Before you start the rental process, get a good rental agreement. Check out some landlord websites that post handy rental agreements and rental application forms you can use. You can also see a lawyer to get a good rental agreement and an application form. Be sure to address things like who cares for the lawn, if smoking is allowed, if pets are allowed and if an additional “pet deposit” is required, who is responsible for repairing appliances if they break, what appliances are included, etc. Once you have found the rental agreement you wish to use, the next step is to obtain a “Move-In Condition Report”. This report addresses the condition of the house and allows the landlord and tenant to recognize the condition of each room in the house. If there are any questions about the condition of the property at the time of move-in, the report will clarify any questions. Generally, the tenant must return the report to the landlord within 2 days of moving into the property.

Next, find a service you can use to check the credit history of prospective tenants. You can join the National Association of Independent Homeowners for a nominal fee and check credit online through their website.

Once you’ve found the right tenant, you’ll ask them to sign the rental agreement, collect the deposits and first month’s rent, and hand over the keys. It’s a good idea to collect your deposit and first month’s rent in the form of a money order. You wouldn’t want a tenant to move into their house only to find that their deposit and rent checks are invalid! He would have to start the eviction process without having received any money!

Once you have received the initial money order at move-in, you may want to allow the tenant to make future payments by personal check. If you ever get a check returned, your rental agreement must specify that all future payments will be made by money order.

Finally, it is a good idea to find an attorney who specializes in evictions. He will probably never need one as long as he manages his property according to the lease, no exceptions, always being courteous to his tenants. But if he ever needs to evict, he’ll feel better if he has an eviction attorney in his arsenal.

If you bought your home in 2002 or earlier, you’re in luck. You can probably rent out your home for a profit, or at least an amount to cover your mortgage payment. Even if you have to rent your house for $100 less than your mortgage payment, you probably won’t have to foreclose on that amount.

You may be able to pay rent on your home at a loss if the home you move into has a lower monthly payment than your current home. Depending on your financial situation, renting at a loss of, say, $200/month may be better than leaving the house empty, losing the full amount of your mortgage payment each month!

It’s a good idea to look at your entire financial picture before deciding whether to stay in your home, rent it, or sell it for less than you want in this economic downturn. For more information and tips on selling your home, visit http://tampahouse1.com/home_sellers.html

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